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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1052W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, (1) what the details were of each confirmed report of theft; (224126)

(2) how many cases of theft are being investigated; and on what date each investigation began.

[holding answer 17 September 2008]: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) operational control, (b) administrative control, (c) technical control, (d) tactical control and (e) other command relationships between British armed forces and non-British armed forces operating in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan broken down by unit to the lowest level for which information is available; and what the nationality of each such unit is in each case. (224129)

[holding answer 17 September 2008]: In Iraq, the UK has tactical control of a number of US force elements in the MND(SE) area of operations. These include: 21 Military Police Company; a Military Transition Team embedded with 26 Brigade of the Iraqi Army; a Transition Team embedded with an Iraqi National Police Battalion; a Civil Military Operations Cell; an Explosive Ordnance Detachment; and a Biometrics Team.

A number of other US elements, including the Coalition Air Force Training Team and the 14th US Engineer Battalion, operate within MND(SE). The UK works to co-ordinate effort and influence with these organisations but there is no requirement for a formal command relationship.

There are no formal command relationships between the Iraqi armed forces and UK armed forces although their activities are very closely co-ordinated, primarily through key leader engagement at the senior military level and by the UK’s embedded military transition teams.

Other non-UK units may, on occasion, temporarily deploy into the MND(SE) area of operations for specific missions. The precise command relationship with these units will vary depending on the nature of their operational tasking.

In Afghanistan the UK has operational control of a Danish battle group and an Estonian company operating in Helmand.

The Afghan National Army (ANA) currently deploys five units of battalion size or greater in Helmand province. Their operations are closely coordinated with ISAF operations, including through the use of Operational Mentoring, Liaison and Training Teams, although there is no formal command relationship between ISAF and ANA units.

As in Iraq, other non-UK units may, on occasion, temporarily deploy into Helmand province for specific missions: the precise command relationships with these units will vary dependent on the precise nature of their operational tasking.